Where is the deepest gorge in the world?
It really depends how you measure these things, and who is to say what the definitive measurement system is? The Vikos Gorge apparently comes top based on height/width ratio, with a depth of 900 metres "at a point where it is 1,100 metres across, creating a dramatic sheer-sided vault with beech, fig and oak trees encasing the Voldomatis river. The gorge is home to brown bears, wild boar, elegant arched bridges and trails linking spectacular mountain villages."
Certainly it struck me as pretty dramatic when I went for a walk with a friend from the Zagori village where we were staying - Tsepelovo - in September 1993 (sorry, this isn't really news). We just picked a dusty track to climb up a steep hillside across the valley from the village. It took us up onto a broad limestone plateau with an impressive limestone pavement (just like in Yorkshire but deeper grykes - fissures - between the clints - blocks of limestone). There were higher mountains in the distance, and then suddenly we reached the edge of a precipice falling away into an awesome gorge - the Vikos. It didn't look green as in the photo which the Guardian used (not shown on the website unfortunately). It was dry and barren-looking after the heat of the summer, and didn't look like it could sustain much wildlife. See the story and linked Guardian articles>
Reading this small item yesterday made me thing about gorges I'd visited - the wonderful Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan (which some claim to be the deepest in the world); and the narrower Qingcheng Hou Shan Gorge in neighbouring Sichuan province of China. Those two are already on Walking Stories - the next two have yet to be added, but links are provided to external sites: the Todra Gorge through the eastern Atlas mountains of Morocco near the village of Tinerhir, which narrows to 10m wide in places with depth up to 300m and so must do well on a height to depth ratio; and similarly the Samaria Gorge in Crete which is 16km long and in places very narrow.
Then what about the smaller gorges, such as those in Scotland especially along the edge of the Highlands, the more impressive Glen Nevis Gorge, and the Glens in the Isle of Man? They don't have the grandeur, but they can be very impressive nevertheless, and great places for careful walking.
It would be interesting to hear stories about other people's favourite gorge walks.